The undying love for the game and immense passion to don the national colours ensure that millions of young kids take up the sport to follow their dream.
In a country with a population of over a billion people, a land where cricket is considered to be a religion, the Indian Premier League has provided an ideal platform for the youngsters to showcase their talent at the highest level.
Arguably one of the best competitions going around in the world, the IPL has enabled young turks to rub shoulders with the international stars and learn from the best in the business whilst creating an impact.
It is fair to say that the league has been a catalyst in unearthing the domestic talent and also ensuring that the players are well equipped to cope with the pressure of international cricket.
With stadiums packed to capacity and the enormous pressure of the fans back home, the tournament has been a real game-changer in the history of Indian cricket.
And, as we talk about the tournament being a game-changer, there is one particular youngster who has grabbed this opportunity with both hands and carved a niche for himself in the international arena.
Emerging from a city known for its backwaters, Sanju Samson is creating ripples all across the circuit with his elegant batting style and free-flowing strokeplay.
From making his debut for the Rajasthan Royals in 2013 as a teenage sensation to now being one of the mainstays in the batting unit, it has been one long and hard journey for the youngster.
A couple of scintillating knocks in the previous editions of the IPL enabled him to grab the attention of the national selectors paving his way into the Indian team.
However, things have not gone according to plan for Samson as his lack of consistent performances has always come back to haunt him in his bid for a stable run in the Indian colours.
An inconsistent IPL yet again
The 25-year-old started this edition of the tournament emphatically as he smashed consecutive half-centuries to lead the Royals to comfortable wins over the Chennai Super Kings and Kings XI Punjab in the first two league games.
The right-handed batsman utilised the conditions and the small ground dimensions to his advantage, as he smashed sixes at will to power his team to a massive total against Chennai and then played a crucial role in a big chase versus Punjab.
Despite a dream start to the season, the wicket-keeper batsman endured a horror run with the bat as he managed to score a meagre 77 runs in the next eight encounters.
The short ball conundrum
His ability to handle the short ball has been a concern, and it was not surprising to see the opposition teams exploiting this weakness early on in his innings.
With short pitch deliveries aimed at his body, Samson is cramped for room, making it difficult for him to deal with the rising ball. Unfortunately for him, he gets into an awkward position most of the time when it comes to dealing with bouncers, resulting in his downfall.
This problem wasn't highlighted much in the first couple of games as the Royals played at the Sharjah Cricket Ground wherein the dimensions of the ground are comparatively smaller as opposed to the grounds in Dubai or Abu Dhabi.
However, as the team shifted base away from Sharjah, with lively wickets on offer, a certain chink in Samson's armour has been exposed, resulting in a string of low scores for him.
For a player of his class and calibre, this season of the IPL has been disappointing, to say the least, for him personally as he has dealt with the highest of highs and the lowest of lows.
Nonetheless, with time on his side and the experience of the coaching staff around him, Samson will surely need to work on this part of his game and come back stronger for the much-awaited series Down Under.
Also see :- IPL playoffs schedulePublished 02 Nov 2020, 13:34 IST